Gunmen have killed over 150 security operatives, civilians in south East, says army Commander

Chidiebube Okeoma, Owerri

The Brigadier Commander of 34 Artillery Brigade, Obinze, Owerri, Imo state, Raymond Utsaha, has revealed that hoodlums masquerading as “Unknown Gunmen” have killed no fewer than 150 security operatives and civilians in the South East zone in few months.

At a joint media interactive session between him and the state Commissioner of police, Abutu Yaro, which held in Owerri, the army chief said that no “responsible Government” would allow such ” criminal elements” to continue to have their way.

Responding to an question from The PUNCH on the alleged cases of extra judicial killings, intimidation and harassment by the military in the state, Utsaha, disclosed that the unknown gunmen had killed 78 police officers, 38 army officers, five Naval officers, seven air Force officers, 15 Civil Defence Officers, 31 community policing members and over 100 ” innocent citizens in the five states that make up the South East region since the unrest.

He assured that the government was committed to ending the activities of the hoodlums in the region.

While soliciting the support of the members of the public, the Brigadier Commander, urged the members of the public to try to distinguish between an army officer, an air Force Officer and Naval officer.

He said because the three military agencies wear the same military fatigues, members of the public referred all the three agencies to be the Nigeria army.

The Brigadier Commander said ” let me give this satistics, In the past few months, the unknown gunmen violent activities in the eastern part of Nigeria have taken a great toll on the lives of security personnel and Civilians.

“Within these few months they have killed 78 police officers, 38 Army officers, five Naval officers, seven air force officers, 15 Civil defence officers, 31 community policing members and
Over 100 innocent Citizens and Civilians who decided not Support the IPOB/ESN or refused to Pay them money were also killed and Properties worth billions of Naira destroyed.

“With these staggering number of casualties, no serious government will stand by and watch the life of security personnel and its citizens to be destroyed.

“Survey reports shows that 80% of the security personnel killed are from the eastern part of the country.

“It is worrisome, unfair and senseless to kill security personnel that are guarding our lives and our properties by the So called unknown gunmen as the Media chose to call them despite the fact that many were arrested alive and their confessions of being IPOB/ESN members responsible for the killings in imo state and Southeast.

“The public is hereby encouraged to support the security agencies and boost their morale in fighting the violence and criminal acts of the unknown gun men.”

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